Conor Hazard's 2021 Celtic contract extension is already making no sense
Conor Hazard tied himself to Celtic Park until the summer of 2023 earlier this year, and already it’s making absolutely no sense at all.
Hazard has been totally out of the picture under Ange Postecoglou this year. He’s currently the fourth choice goalkeeper at the club. Behind Joe Hart, Vasilis Barkas, and Scott Bain, it’s clear the Northern Irishman’s time in Glasgow is all but over.
Hazard’s previous contract ran until the summer of 2022. That gave him an easy out as soon as next summer. Something that looked like an ideal opportunity for him should he be frozen out this season.
However, on the back of a short run in the team that barely lasted a month, Hazard signed a new contract that extended his time here for another year.
The Lennoxtown academy graduate has played eight times for Celtic. But it’s clear he has no real future under Postecoglou [Transfermarkt].
Outside of a couple of pre-season friendly fixtures, Hazard has been nowhere to be seen. He hasn’t played a single competitive minute of action this term, and has only made one matchday squad against Midtjylland back in July.
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Conor Hazard new Celtic deal made little sense at the time
Some will say that it was a good idea for Hazard to commit a little longer to the club. That it gave him extra security and the opportunity to impress the new manager.
However, he still would’ve had that chance under his previous contract. It’s not as if he was scheduled to leave the club in the summer.
Besides, being realistic, would he honestly have been given more opportunities instead of Barkas and Bain? A new manager, regardless of who it was, was never going to come in and just throw Hazard into the number one position.
Unfortunately, Connor is in an even worse position now than he was when he signed his new deal. From third choice to fourth choice, it’s clear he needs to find an out. Especially at 23 years of age.
Even now, don’t be surprised if he’s eyeing up the January transfer window as an opportunity to move on. First-team football needs to be his main goal, especially if he’s to be a regular at international level for his country too.
But signing his new contract has meant that he won’t be able to sign any pre-contracts in the new year. Someone will have to come in and buy him outright for Hazard to leave permanently. It’s difficult to see what this new contract of his has actually done for him.